Photo, video 09:25 05 Mar 2024

Ukrainian drones destroy Russian warship "Sergey Kotov"

"Sergey Kotov," patrol ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Photo: Russian Ministry of Defense

The Ukrainian Defense Intelligence has confirmed the destruction of the Russian military ship "Sergey Kotov" in the occupied Crimea. 

The vessel was attacked by "Magura V5" naval drones and suffered damages, Rubryka reports.

"On the night of March 4-5, 2024, the Group 13 Special Operations Unit of the Defense Intelligence attacked the Sergey Kotov patrol ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet," the statement said.

The intelligence officers reported that the mission was carried out in cooperation with the Ukrainian Navy and with the support of Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation.

The Russian ship project 22160 "Sergey Kotov" suffered damage to its stern, right, and left sides due to the strikes by maritime drones.

"The fire hit the 'Kotov' in the territorial waters of Ukraine, near the Kerch Strait. The value of the sunken ship is approximately $65 million," said the Defense Intelligence.

On the morning of March 5, the Russian Ministry of Defense complained about the drone attack in the Belgorod Oblast. The department claimed that all drones had been "shot down." At the same time, the Russians said nothing about the explosions in the occupied Crimea.

Earlier, there were reports on social media about a supposed massive attack by Ukrainian UAVs and naval drones on ground objects in the occupied Crimea. Propagandists complained that the "targets" also included ships of the Black Sea Fleet and the Crimean Bridge.

Later, it became known that a Russian military ship "Sergey Kotov" was attacked near the coast of the Ukrainian peninsula. Eyewitnesses captured the moment when a strong explosion occurred near the Russian ship's hull.

Background on "Sergey Kotov"

"Sergey Kotov" is the third serial patrol ship, named after the Soviet military man, Counter-Admiral Sergey Kotov. It was launched in January 2021 and joined the Russian Black Sea Fleet on July 30, 2022. Four such ships have been built as of December 2023, and two are under construction.

They are intended for patrolling territorial waters, the economic zone in open and closed seas, preventing smuggling and piracy, search and rescue operations for marine disasters, environmental monitoring, monitoring of military naval bases and water areas, and operations in distant sea and ocean zones.

From the very beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, such ships have been involved in Russian combat operations. From February 25 to 28, 2022, the main ship of the series "Vasily Bykov" took part in the battles for Snake Island. In October 2023, the ship "Pavlo Derzhavin" was attacked by a maritime drone in the port of Sevastopol.

What we know about the destruction of Russian ships by Ukrainian Forces

Ukrainian defenders have already carried out dozens of operations on the peninsula and in the Black Sea, destroying Russian bases, warehouses, and ships.

In October 2022, Ukrainian Security Service naval drones attacked ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol Bay, damaging the frigate "Admiral Makarov" among others.

Overall, in 2023, Ukrainian drones damaged:

  • the missile cruiser "Samum,"
  • the missile cruiser "Pavel Derzhavin,"
  • the tanker SIG,
  • the landing ship "Olenegorsky Gornyak,"
  • damaged the tugboat "Nikolay Mur,"
  • the advanced reconnaissance-hydrographic ship "Vladimir Kozitsky."

On December 26, 2023, Ukrainian Defense Forces attacked the large landing ship "Novocherkassk" of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the area of Feodosia.

Also, Ukrainian intelligence destroyed the missile boat "Ivanovets" of the Russian Black Sea Fleet overnight on February 1. Its approximate value is $60-70 million. The Russian ship suffered damages that were incompatible with further movement. Thus, the "Ivanovets" listed aft and sank.

On February 14, Ukrainian drones struck a large Russian landing ship "Caesar Kunikov." The Ukrainian Navy later stated that out of the 13 Russian Black Sea Fleet ships, only five remained operational after the destruction of the "Caesar Kunikov."

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